High school boys lacrosse: Brighton defense delivers in win over Olympus

Brighton, shown here in a win over Corner Canyon earlier this season, beat Olympus in a Region 6 showdown on Wednesday to stay undefeated.

In a battle of two of the top teams in the state, Brighton found a way to eek out a win against region rival Olympus Thursday, nabbing the narrow victory with a final scoreline of 7-6.

“That was two teams just battling really hard. It was two of the top defenses and overall really good teams. We struggled in some areas and kinda held on a little bit. We played a ton of defense, and the boys were gassed by the end. This was really the first game where we needed the defense to show up and they did it,” said Brighton head coach Christopher O’Donnell.

The star of the game was Gabe Carrera, who scored four of his team’s seven goals, with three of those coming in the first half. Also getting on the scoreboard was Andrew Salinas, who found the back of the net twice, while Zac Anderson added one goal.

Both teams’ stout defense was on full display throughout the game, especially in the first half. It wasn’t until there were three minutes left in the first quarter before the first score of the game, courtesy of Carrera.

Olympus tied it up with 10:35 left in the first half in the with a score from Jarom Gilbert, but Brighton wasted no time getting the lead back, with Carrera once again adding to his goal tally just a minute later.

In case he hadn’t already, Carrera decided to put his stamp on the first half, scoring a stunning goal with 45 seconds left before intermission, doubling his team’s lead and taking some much-needed momentum heading into the break.

With their backs somewhat against the wall, Olympus came out of the half ready to go on offense. The visitors scored five goals in the second half, with four of them coming from Cole Cummings. Ben Burbidge also contributed a goal in the valiant losing effort.

Brighton’s defense showed up when it needed to the most, making big stops down the stretch to grab the victory.

After a close game like this, O’Donnell hopes it gives him team some added confidence and belief as it heads deeper into the season.

“This was really the first close game we have had,” he said. “It was neck and neck the whole way. It was a great team effort and we beat a team that I’m sure we’ll see again. The ability to grind out a win when things aren’t going your way and the character of this team was on full display tonight.”